L&D: I Try to Avoid Visiting ReWork City

Especially If It’s Not In the Plan

Sometimes it is in the Plan.

Yeah, sure. During Development, after the Alpha Tests and the Beta Tests.


And after the formal Pilot-Test’s Full Destructive Test. That last phase in our 6 phase approach was named Revision & Release because we not only anticipated ReWork, we planned for it.


But other than those 3 exceptions?

ReWork ReWork ReWork?

Dislike. Dislike. Dislike.

It’s a Crowded Place, ReWork City 

The more people in the L&D business that don’t know how to Plan really jam up the place. They dislike Plans and Planning. It can’t be done they say. Not well enough to even bother trying they say. So they set out to see where it takes them. Just do it seems to be their motto.

You can find them on those highway cloverleaf exchanges going in figure eights over and over again, just trying to get their bearings. In the back, the client, along for the ride, was getting dizzy.

And that’s after they’d first arrived at what they thought was their destination. But no, something was wrong. Something was missing and they’re retracing their steps, mile by mile.

Mr. ISD in the driver’s seat, was looking for the right way.

And those using faulty, partial Analysis methods. You find them in the ditch unless you catch them being pulled out with a Tow Truck. Bad luck they claim. Bad directions they find out too late. They listened to the wrong expert. Who thought he could recall all the twists and turns. But he couldn’t.

Some got through that and were on their way, but then their Design was incomplete – and they found out too late. They couldn’t recall the correct twists and turns after descending the Forgetting Curve, notorious for its wide ditches on both sides of the roadway. If only they had jotted it all down in some aid. Something to support their performance once they were already down the road. Something that was quick to scan and follow.

But, they Developed a manual when it could have been more like a Flash Card.


So when they went on their Pilot-Test they failed. Drove the old wagon right into the ditch.

The old guy on the side of the road gave them a piece of his mind. He’d been here before. And he wasn’t sure that he hadn’t pulled these same people out of the same ditch before.

“Plan!” he started out before getting really hot. “FOCUS on the Performance.” he berated those he assisted. “Design the trip to avoid ReWork City,” he begged. And then, “Develop a thin Job Aid and not some dang fat course manual!”

“What are you getting paid by,” he snidely inquired, “by the pound or by the inch?” He had just caught a glimpse of their 3″ binder.

“Rookies!” he shouted as he shook his fist in the air as they started up the car again.

The driver muttered, “Next time we’ll do better,”as they pulled away, looking for a sign, any sign telling then that they were on their way, the correct way. Something other than the long way.

But … then … he remembered telling himself that one before. Several times before.

He didn’t want to look over at his client in the passenger seat.

The other passengers were still steamed. “What a waste of time,” everybody was thinking.

Finally a sign.


Once the adrenaline subsided they turned on the radio for a distraction, where they found an oldies station, and a familiar rock classic came on.

And they all sang along out loud – changing the words just a bit to the classic, “Tobacco Road.”

They sang real loud and even the speakers accompanied them word for word, except when they replaced the words “Tobacco Road.”

And on the line after “Blow it up and start all over again” they were screaming it, man.

The non-radio voices replaced the words “Tobacco Road” … with “ReWork City.”

After the song ended and was replaced by static they all drifted off in separate thoughts about how to avoid this next time. The client. The participants. And Mr. ISD, the driver.

“It was possible,” Mr. ISD thought.

“But it might require a different approach,” the client thought. She wasn’t smiling.

# # #


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